Nepalling work conditions

A frequent sight on the outskirts of Kathmandu:

Such a stunningly beautiful country.

Such sweet, welcoming people. 

So much poverty.  So much backbreaking work.

I hope Urmila and the other great folks at BPW Patan, the microfinance bank I was here to visit, manage to do as much good as they intend to. 

Their work is as much uphill as everyone else's here.


PS my new friends Claudine and Brian have recently transitioned from white-collar America to living, working, and blogging in Nepal. Their blog, The Kathmanduo, is fabulous.

Congrats to the 336 most generous people I know

Friends of Bob Harris, the Kiva team growing out of my book project, went over the $250,000 mark this weekend!

To everyone involved, thanks! Your generosity is beyond belief.

Even more unbelievable, 13 hours into February, the team is ranked #1 Kiva-wide for the month (out of almost 17,000 teams), with more than $10,000 raised just so far today.

I really have almost nothing to do with this, other than being a bit of a cheerleader for some amazingly cool folks.

It's an honor. Truly.

Our Kiva team: $200,000 and counting!

Friends of Bob Harris, a team of 279 generous people I'm honored to nominally lead, has just passed the $200,000 mark in total funds raised.

That money has gone to help fund nearly 8,000 microloans to schools, clinics, and mom-and-pop businesses in more than 50 countries across the developing world.

If that's not specific enough, here's an example of what these loans do:

Meet Jacqueline, a mother of three in Kigali, Rwanda, who has used loans like these to grow a tiny business trading cassava and sweet potatoes into a small grocery store — thereby providing a better home, better food, and a better overall life for her beautiful children.

Jacqueline was generous and sweet in sharing her story for my book — a story typical of microfinance clients I've met on four continents so far.

Want to kick in a few bucks? You get paid back about 99 percent of the time, after all. Join us!

Our Kiva team passes $65,000 for December!

Friends of Bob Harris, the team I'm honored to "captain" (which means mostly just cheer while everybody else does cool stuff) at, just blew past the $65,000 mark for December — and over $100,000 total in the last two months of 2010.

[singlepic id=12 w=320 h=240 float=right] That money is lent — not donated — to doctors, clinics, farmers, and thousands of other deserving small enterprises in more than 50 developing countries worldwide.

This means that the 267 members (and counting) of our team get paid back about 99 percent of the time, then have the opportunity to reinvest, over and over again, while helping build economies all over the world.

It's a kick and an honor to be a part of this, and I'm loving the work of writing this book.

Congrats to Jonathon Stalls on his 3000-mile Kiva Walk!

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to join Jonathon Stalls for the last two days of his cross-country walk to raise awareness and funds for

Crossing the Golden Gate on a perfect morning

On Friday, I and the other taggers-along marched with him from the Golden Gate Bridge to Kiva’s office downtown, and on Saturday, a merry band of about 50 people did the Bay-to-Breakers walk to the Pacific, followed by a lap around the Presidio to reach a celebratory reception.

The Kiva baby at left is really the best looking one here

After just 20 miles total, two-thirds of one percent of Jonathon’s walk, my feet didn’t want to move for about three days. Not sure how Jonathon managed for eight solid months, but there it is, with over $400,000 raised to show for it.

Jonathon and his trusty sidekick finally reach the ocean

Congrats to Jonathon and everyone who supported his walk along the way! It was an honor to be there at the grand finale.

Jonathon, me, and Chelsa from